All We Know of Heaven is written by Jacquelyn Mitchard. It was published in 2008 by Harper Collins. Mitchard’s website can be found here.
Genre: Realistic, sort of Tough Read-ish.
“Bridget Flannery and Maureen O’Malley have been BFFS since forever. Then a brief moment of inattention on an icy road leaves one girl dead and the other in a coma, battered beyond recognition. Family and friends mourn one friend’s loss and pray for the other’s recovery. Then the doctors discover they have made a terrible mistake. The girl who lived is the one who everyone thought had died.”
“She picked away at the word for…that shiny thing. The thing on the flat beside her. What was it called?
And then she had to remember how you used a thing that was called, for no reason, a GUH-LUS and shaped like a permanent bubble.”
Dr. Styles looked up at her. “I’ve seen teeth that were chipped after accidents, but I never saw a chipped tooth get better,” he said.
“The kid in the chart has a big chip in her left lower bicuspid. This kid doesn’t. This kid has had four canines removed for alignment. The kid in the chart has her canines.”
“Maybe you got the wrong records.”
“You know I didn’t.”
Warnings: Kissing (and everything else), underage drinking.
Recommended Age Range: 16+
What I Liked:
Mitchard handled the emotions of everyone very well. That was, I think, the most well-done part of the entire book. She captured the grief, the shock, the relief, the joy, the heartbreak very realistically.
Maureen’s recovery is wonderful to read about.
What I Didn’t Like:
The first 100-150 pages of this book are fine. Great, maybe. And then for the next half of the book it just drags on and on…I almost stopped reading it at one point. Danny (a.k.a STUPID DANNY) and Maureen’s relationship was just so over the top and annoying. I hated it every time they were together. This book would have been fantastic if it had ended a whole lot sooner than it did. I just stopped caring about the characters. I felt immensely sorry for poor Evan, who just got thrown over because of STUPID DANNY. I liked Evan. I wanted Maureen to forget about STUPID DANNY (you’re fourteen, stop talking about “true love”), but she was so obsessed that I started hating her.
All We Know of Heaven goes on for way too long, sucking the characters dry of any charm they had once held. While a remarkable tale of heartache and recovery, its length and the attitude of boredom I acquired because of it reduces it to the shelf of books that I will never read again.
Coming Up Next: Matched by Ally Condie